The Secret History Of Burning Bridges

by Jac Morrison

Courtesy of @elesq/ Instagram

Courtesy of @elesq/ Instagram

Letting go is an art. It is a skilled practice that eludes and consumes you. You never seem to let go of the right things. You're not even sure if there are right things. You are a lit match in a balancing act. You are the fire and you are also the bridge but you are mostly the flame. You feel like a conscious conundrum. Because that is what you are.

Burning bridges has not always stood for surrender. Historically, it stood for strength. In Ancient Rome, commanders would order bridges to be set afire behind their troops while invading a new territory.

There was no retreating.

No escaping.

The only option was to fight for their lives.

You feel a lot like a Roman soldier most days. A soldier who's never sure the battles they're fighting are just. Who’s never sure the bridges they are burning are of diamond or of coal. You are leaving those who love you behind. You are moving mountains for those who will not. Those who cannot. Those who choose not to so very clearly but you rack your brain with all of the wrong parts of you that you wish to blame. Shift them to fit in little boxes hoping lovers come and check them off like you are a list to be completed.

Because you feel incomplete. Like you are a sketch half erased. A thought interrupted. A ticking clock with no hands to count the seconds.

And when someone finally arrives with palms up singing the hymnals of your heart, you armor yourself for battle like a misinformed militia. When you should be vulnerable, you are stoic and unforgiving. A fire lit from the soles of your shoes spreading wildly as you run, leaves embers of things that could have saved you behind in favor of wars you secretly wish to lose.

Don't burn your bridges is unfair advice. It is too umbrella. It does not consider that some bridges are too dangerous to be left intact.

Burn the bridges that are already crumbling beneath you. Bridges held together by uncertainty and abuse, leave them to ruin. Feel the boards quake beneath you and know that this, this is when you run. This is when running is an entirely acceptable course of action. This is when running means fighting for a life you've always fought against.

This is new territory, but this is not invasion.

This is departure, but this is not surrender.

This is your reclamation. This is strength.